On Tuesday, Hawaii’s governor signed a bill granting new protections to domestic workers, making it the second state in the nation to take on the largely unregulated industry.
Hawaii’s new law requires employers to provide at least minimum wage, along with discrimination protections, to “cooks, waiters, butlers, housekeepers and other workers, including babysitters in some cases.” New York is the only other state with such protections, though Massachusetts, California, Oregon, and Texas are all considering similar laws.
Domestic workers’ right are immigrants’ rights. A National Domestic Workers Alliance survey found that nearly half of all domestic workers are foreign born, and immigration status almost directly correlates to a workers’ compensation:
There’s not much time left to dispute domestic workers’ rights before a battle looming on the horizon makes landfall; as a press release from the National Domestic Workers Alliance points out, “With the baby boomer generation continuing to age, it’s estimated that 27 million Americans are going to need caregivers by the year 2050 just to meet their basic daily needs.”